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May 30, 2003

The Register, while talking about the MS-AOL settlement:
Neglected by Microsoft for several years, the browser was recently described here as looking "more tired than a shemale street walker in San Francisco's Tenderloin on a Saturday night". In comparison with more modern browsers such as Opera, noted Ashlee Vance, "it's just a rectangle".
What's wrong with being a rectangle exactly? (I like my browser to be a nice, colorless, inconspicuous rectangle, thankyouverymuch -- in fact, one reason I like Win2000's IE6 to XP's is the monochrome toolbar). Also, aesthetic considerations aside, there are some other reasons:
  • IE is way ahead of the pack with its rendering engine -- try viewing this XSL-styled page on Opera or Mozilla. Mozilla's Transformiix still doesn't do disable-output-escaping, and Opera is hopeless at anything XML.
  • A working History bar with different views (apart from IE, only Phoenix gets this right. Opera 7 doesn't even come close)
  • Stable. Crack jokes all you like, but I routinely keep about 30 IE windows open and expect them not to crash (I generally start windows with applets or OCXs in a different process in case they crash -- and I haven't seen IE crash on a plain (D)HTML page for ages). On the other hand, Opera stability is a joke -- open up more than 10 tabs and watch it suck memory and crash. Mozilla is probably a little better, but still not as good as IE.

Sure, pop-up blocking would be good to have. I'm not finicky about tabs. Fine-grained control over applets and OCXs executing on the page would be good, too. On the other hand, I'm not sure I find the browser-as-writing-platform kool-aid easy to digest, especially since all the API plumbing that would make it possible is already there and folk are selling web writing tools right now. What stops (say) Userland from selling their outliner as an OCX to be used with IE? Or offering it to paying Radio/Frontier customers?

The funny thing is, most MS teams add features (cf. Office 2000 → Office XP) and they're cut a new one for shipping bloatware. The IE team adds under-the-hood features and security tweaks and bugfixes, people ask if IE is dead. You can't win.

Update: Robert Scoble has a few interesting words on the is-IE-dead meme on his weblog.


May 22, 2003

When will Reloaded hit India? Die Another Day came within a month of its world premiere. Harry Potter and The Two Towers took about 6 months. (The MPAA sucks.) On the bright side, MTV India is showing promos for a Reloaded special in mid-June, so perhaps an end-June India premiere is not too much to expect?


Catching a cold in the middle of an excruciating Indian summer (40 C/104 F) is one of the most irritating things in the world. (sniffle)


May 14, 2003

IFRI Study: Europe Fading. The signs were already there, now the alarm bells are sounding.
Europe is predicted to become a second-ranking economic force over the next 50 years, its share of world output almost halving from its current 22-percent share to 12 percent... Even that decline to a 12-percent share of the global economy is based on IFRI's assumption that Europe welcomes 30 million young immigrant workers from North Africa and the Arab world, to swell its thinning labor force.


May 12, 2003

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